Main content

Alert message

VACATION LEAVE ENTITLEMENT

Classified employees shall, without deduction in salary, be entitled to a vacation in each fiscal year. Part-time employees will accrue vacation leave on a proportionate basis and the maximum carry-over will also be proportionate. Such entitlement shall be earned in accordance with the following schedule:

Employees with Employment ofHours Accrued per MonthMax. Hrs. to Carry Forward from
One Fiscal Year to Next Fiscal Year

0 but less than 2 years

8

 180

2 but less than 5 years

9

 244

5 but less than 10 years

10

 268

10 but less than 15 years

11

 292

15 but less than 20 years

13

 340

20 but less than 25 years

15

 388

25 but less than 30 years

17

 436

30 but less than 35 years

19

 484

35 years or more

21

 532

An employee accrues vacation leave at the applicable rate, beginning on the first day of statement employment and ending on the last duty day of state employment. Within this section of the policy, "duty day" means an employee's last physical day on the job. An employee accrues, and is entitled to be credited for, one month's vacation leave for each month of employment with the state beginning on the first day of employment with the state, and on the first calendar day of each succeeding month of state employment. An employee who is employed by the state during any part of a calendar month accrues vacation leave entitlement for the entire calendar month.

An employee may not take vacation leave until the employee has six months of continuous employment with the state, although the employee accrues vacation leave during that period.

If an employee's state employment anniversary date occurs on the first calendar day of a month, the employee begins to accrue vacation at the higher rate on the first calendar day of the month following the anniversary date. An employee who begins working on the first workday of a month, in a position that accrues vacation leave, is considered to have been working on the first calendar day of the month for purposes of this subsection.

An employee is entitled to carry forward, from one fiscal year to the next, the net balance of unused accumulated vacation leave that does not exceed the maximum number of hours allowed in the chart above. All hours of unused accumulated vacation leave that may not be carried forward at the end of a fiscal year under this subsection and the chart above shall be credited to the employee's sick leave balance on the first day of the next fiscal year.

In computing the amount of vacation leave taken, time during which an employee is excused from work because of a holiday is not charged against the employee's vacation leave.

An employee who is on paid leave on the first workday of a month may not take vacation leave accrued for that month until the employee has returned to duty.

Gov't Code 661.152(a)-(i)

Restoration Of Vacation Leave Upon Re-Employment

An individual who is re-employed by any state agency in a position under which the employee accrues vacation leave within 30 days after the individual's date of separation from state employment is entitled to reinstatement of the unused balance of the employee's previously accrued vacation leave.

Gov't Code 661.152(k)

Transfer Of Vacation Leave Between Agencies

An employee who transfers directly from another state agency to the School is entitled to be given credit by the School for the unused balance of the employee's accumulated vacation leave if the employee's employment with the state is uninterrupted, and if the employee is not paid for the leave under Texas Gov't Code 661.062.

Gov't Code 661.153

Service with junior colleges, regional education service centers and independent school districts does not constitute state employment.

Use Of Vacation Leave

Vacation leave shall be planned and approved in advance so that the operation of the school may proceed in an orderly fashion. All twelve-month employees who have student related responsibilities should normally take vacation leave when school is not in session (including summer school). Employees whose annual term of employment is less than twelve months must take vacation leave contiguous to the last day of school. Vacation leave may be taken in increments (i.e., one-two days) during the school term at the convenience of the work schedule. In all cases, the granting of vacation leave shall be subject to prior approval of the supervisor and must be planned so as not to cause disruption of services to students, or to the orderly operation of school activities. When personal circumstances requiring use of vacation leave prevent the employee from securing prior approval in writing, the employee must contact his, or her, supervisor as soon as possible to request verbal approval.

Written approval on appropriate request forms must be secured as soon as possible thereafter and not later than on the day of returning to work.

Unauthorized Use Of Vacation Leave

Any employee who violates school policy regarding use of vacation leave, or otherwise fails to secure authorized approval for leave taken may be required to take leave without pay.

PERSONAL LEAVE

Contract employees do not earn vacation leave, but shall be entitled to take paid time off from work during the term of the employment contract for personal reasons provided, however, that such paid time off may not exceed three days per contract term.

Personal leave shall be requested as far in advance as possible, but no later than five working days before the date it is to be taken, provided, however, that personal leave may be taken when an emergency, or other extenuating circumstances, make such notice impossible.

School principals will determine, and announce at the beginning of each school year, any days on the school calendar for which personal leave will not be approved except for emergencies and other extenuating circumstances approved by the principal. Unused personal leave may not be carried forward from one contract term to a subsequent contract term.

See Education Code 30.024(b)(4)

SICK LEAVE ENTITLEMENT

An employee accrues sick leave beginning on the first day of state employment and ending on the last duty day of state employment. Within this section of the "duty day" means an employee's last physical day on the job. An employee is entitled to be credited for one month's accrual of sick leave at the rate specified in the following paragraph for each month of employment with the state beginning on the first day of employment with the state, and on the first calendar day of each succeeding month of state employment.

Sick leave entitlement for a full-time employee accrues at the rate of eight hours for each month of state employment. A part-time employee accrues sick leave on a proportionate basis. An employee who is employed by the state during any part of a calendar month accrues sick leave entitlement for the entire calendar month. Sick leave accumulates with the unused amount of sick leave carried forward each month.

Gov't Code 661.202(k) 

For employees under contract with the School, credit for one month's sick leave accrual will be given for each month in which at least one day of the month is included in the term of the employment contract, and for any other month in which work is performed, or paid leave is taken. Sick leave accrual will be posted to each employee's leave record on the first day of employment with the School, and on the first day of each succeeding month of employment thereafter.

Education Code 30.024(b)(3)

Use Of Sick Leave

Sick leave with pay may be taken when sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement prevent the employee's performance of duty, or when the employee is needed to care and assist a member of his immediate family who is actually ill. For purposes of taking regular sick leave with pay, the following persons are considered to be members of the employee's immediate family: an individual who resides in the same household as the employee and who is related to the employee by kinship, marriage, or adoption; a foster child of the employee who resides in the same household as the employee and who is under the conservatorship of the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services; and a minor child of the employee, regardless of whether the child lives in the same household; and a child of whom the employee is the legal guardian by court appointment.

State Auditor's Office Leave Interpretation No. 01-04

An employee's use of sick leave for family members not residing in that employee's household is strictly limited to the time necessary to provide care and assistance to a spouse, child, or parent of the employee that needs such care and assistance as a direct result of a documented medical condition.

An employee who must be absent from duty because of sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement shall notify the employee's supervisor, or have the supervisor notified of that fact at the earliest practicable time.

Gov't Code 661.202(d)-(f)

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired contract employees may use sick leave for qualifying events only during instructional days for which they are under contract.

State Auditor's Office Leave Interpretation No. 97-08

Proof Of Illness Required

To be eligible to take accumulated sick leave without a deduction in salary during a continuous period of more than three (3) working days, an employee absent due to sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement shall send to the Superintendent a doctor's certificate showing the cause, or nature, of the condition, or some other written statement of the facts concerning the condition which is acceptable to the Superintendent. The Superintendent may require a doctor's certificate, or other written statement of the facts for sick leave without a deduction in salary taken during a continuous period of three, or fewer, working days. 

Gov't Code 661.202(g)

After giving notice of termination of employment, employees may be required to present written doctor's certification in order to use more than one day of sick leave.

Employees shall be required to provide proof of illness for members of their family in the same manner as for themselves when such leave extends for more than three (3) working days.

Sick Leave Requests

On returning to duty after taking sick leave, the employee shall, without delay, complete the prescribed application for sick leave and send the application in the manner prescribed by the School to his/her immediate supervisor for approving the application. 

Gov't Code 661-202(h)

Extended Sick Leave

The Superintendent may grant an exception to the amount of sick leave an employee may take after a review of the individual's particular circumstances. A statement of all authorized exceptions, and the reasons for the exceptions, shall be attached to the state agency's duplicate payroll voucher for the payroll period affected by the authorized exceptions.

The School shall file a written statement with the state auditor covering the policies and procedures for an extension of leave under this section, and shall make the statement available to all agency employees. 

Gov't Code 661.202(i)(j)

Parent-Teacher Conferences

An employee who is the parent of a child who is a student in a grade from pre-kindergarten through twelve may use up to eight (8) hours of sick leave each calendar year to attend parent-teacher conference sessions for that child, or children. An employee using leave under this provision shall give reasonable advance notice of his, or her, intention to use sick leave to attend a parent-teacher conference. 

 Gov't Code 661.206

Transfer Of Sick Leave Between Agencies

An employee who transfers directly from another state agency to the School is entitled to be given credit by the School for the unused balance of the employee's accumulated sick leave if the employee's employment with the state is uninterrupted. 

Gov't Code 661.204

Restoration Of Sick Leave After RIF

An employee who separates from employment with the state under a formal reduction-in-force is entitled to have the employee's sick leave balance restored if the employee is re-employed by the state within twelve months after the end of the month in which the employee separates from state employment. An employee who separates from employment with the state for a reason other than that described in this section is entitled to have the employee's sick leave balance restored if: the employee is re-employed by the School within twelve months after the end of the month in which the employee separates from employment with the School; or

  1. The employee is re-employed by a different state agency, or institution of higher education, within twelve months after the end of the month in which the employee separates from state employment.
  2. The employee is re-employed by a different state agency, or institution of higher education within twelve months after the end of the month in which the employee separates from state employment.

Gov't Code 661.205

Unauthorized Use Of Sick Leave

Any employee who violates school policy regarding use of sick leave, or otherwise fails to secure authorized approval for leave taken, may be required to take leave without pay. Malingering and other abuses of sick leave privileges may also constitute grounds for dismissal, or disciplinary action.

Emergency Leave

A School employee is entitled to emergency leave without a deduction in salary because of a death in the employee's immediate family. The death of the employee's spouse, or of a parent, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, or child of the employee, or of the employee's spouse, is considered to be a death in the employee's immediate family for purposes of this section.

The Superintendent may determine that a reason, other than  a reason described in the preceding paragraph, is sufficient for granting emergency leave.  The Superintendent shall grant emergency leave to an employee if the employee requests the leave and the Superintendent determines that the employee has shown good cause for taking emergency leave.

The Superintendent may not grant emergency leave unless he/she believes in good faith that the employee being granted the emergency leave intends to return to the employee’s position with the agency on expiration of the period of emergency leave.  

An employee is not required to request emergency leave if the Superintendent grants emergency leave because the School is closed due to weather conditions or in observation of a holiday.

All requests for emergency leave shall be routed to the Superintendent via the existing chain of command.

Emergency leave will be granted only for the minimum time necessary to satisfy the emergency and, normally, will not exceed three (3) working days.  Up to two (2) additional days of emergency leave may be granted to an employee who must travel out of state to attend or arrange the funeral of an immediate family member.

Gov’t Code 661.902

Leave During Agency Investigation

The Superintendent may grant leave without a deduction in salary to a School employee who is:

  1. The subject of an investigation being conducted by the School or
  2. A victim of, or witness to, an act or event that is the subject of an investigation being conducted by the School

A School employee who is the subject of an investigation being conducted by the School is ineligible to receive leave for that reason under any other provision of Subchapter Z, Chapter 661, Government Code.

Gov’t Code 661.923

Medical and Mental Health Care Leave for Certain Veterans

A veteran who is eligible for health benefits under a program administered by the Veterans Health Administration of the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs may be granted leave without a deduction in salary or loss of vacation time, sick leave, earned overtime credit, or state compensatory time to obtain medical or mental health care administered by the Veterans Health Administration of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, including physical rehabilitation.  Leave granted under this provision may not exceed fifteen (15) days each fiscal year. 

The Superintendent may annually grant additional days of leave as the Superintendent determines appropriate for the employee. 

Gov’t Code 661.924

WORKING UNSCHEDULED HOURS

Employees shall not alter their regularly scheduled working hours without the prior authorization of their supervisor and shall not work in excess of their regularly scheduled working hours unless it is required by their supervisor, or unless the employee has been authorized to serve as a substitute for an absent employee.

OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO FLSA

This section applies only to an employee who is subject to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C., Sections 201 et. seq. (FLSA). The employee is entitled to compensation for overtime as provided by federal law and this section. To the extent that this section and federal law prescribe a different rule for the same circumstance, federal law controls without regard to whether this section, or federal law, prescribes a stricter rule.

An employee who is required to work hours in excess of 40 hours in a workweek is entitled to compensation for the excess hours either by:

  1. the school allowing, or requiring the employee being allowed to take compensatory time off at the rate of 1-1/2 hours for each hour of overtime; or
  2. at the discretion of the Superintendent, in cases in which granting compensatory time off is impractical, the employee receiving pay for the overtime at the rate equal to 1-1/2 times the employee's regular rate of pay.

Holidays, or other paid leave taken during a workweek, are not counted as hours worked in computing the number of overtime hours under the preceding paragraph.

An employee may not accumulate overtime credit of more than 240 hours. An employee must be paid at the rate prescribed in 2., above, for the number of overtime hours the employee works that cause the employee to exceed the amount of overtime credit the employee may accumulate. In this section, "overtime credit" means the number of hours that is computed by multiplying the number of overtime hours worked by 1-1/2.

Gov't Code 659.015(a)-(e)

When an employee does not work more than 40 hours in a workweek, but the number of hours worked, plus the number of hours of holiday, or other paid leave taken during the workweek exceeds 40 hours, the employee is entitled to compensatory time off at the rate of one hour off for each of the excess hours.

When an employee does work 40 or more hours in a workweek, and in addition, takes holiday, or other paid leave during the workweek, and the total number of hours worked still exceeds 40 after subtracting the hours compensable at 1-1/2 times the normal rate, the employee is entitled to compensatory time off at the rate of one hour off for each of the remaining hours in excess of 40. When an employee does not work more than 40 hours in a workweek, and the number of hours worked, plus the number of hours of holiday, or other paid leave taken during the week does not exceed 40 hours, the employee may not accrue compensatory time for the week under this section.

Compensatory time off to which an employee is entitled under this section must be taken during the twelve-month period following the end of the workweek in which the compensatory time was accrued, or it lapses. An employee may not be paid for that compensatory time.

Gov't Code 659.015(f),(g)

Employees Not Subject To FLSA

Positions which are determined to be "executive," "administrative," or "professional" according to FLSA guidelines are exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA. Such determinations shall be made on a position-by-position basis by the Superintendent and Human Resources Director in consultation with appropriate department supervisors. A list of exempt and non-exempt positions shall be maintained in each department. 

Efficient performance of all responsibilities of the position, plus a 40-hour workweek minimum, should govern employees in exempt positions, rather than the official working hours of the School.

Generally, compensatory time is not applicable to those positions and is never applicable to contract positions. When professional duties require extended time outside normal working hours work schedules may be altered to accommodate special circumstances. Any alteration of work schedules is subject to prior approval of the immediate supervisor. When the sum of hours worked, plus holiday or other paid leave taken by a full-time employee during a workweek exceeds 40 hours, and not otherwise, the employee may be allowed to accrue compensatory time for the number of hours that exceeds 40 hours. When the sum of hours worked, plus holiday or other paid leave taken by a part-time employee during a workweek exceeds the number of hours that the part-time employee is designated to work during the workweek, and not otherwise, the employee may be allowed to compensatory time for the number of hours that exceeds the number of hours that the employee is designated to work during the workweek. Any compensatory time that is to be reflected on the employee's official time record may not be earned without specific, advance approval of the employee's immediate supervisor and department head. Leave earned and approved in this manner may be taken during the 12-month period following the end of the workweek in which the leave was earned, at a rate not to exceed equivalent time.

In accordance with the provisions set forth in 29 C.F.R., Part 541, Section 541.118, and subject to that section's exceptions provided below, an employee who is exempt as an executive, professional, or administrative employee under 29 U.S.C. Sec. 213(a)(1) (FLSA) is entitled to receive full salary for any week in which work is performed without regard to the days and number of hours worked. This is also subject to the general rule that an employee need not be paid for any workweek in which the employee performs no work.

Deductions may be made from the salary of an employee who is exempt as an executive, professional, or administrative employee if:

  1. the employee is not at work for a full day, or longer, for personal reasons other than sickness, accident, jury duty, attendance as a witness at a judicial proceeding, or temporary military service;
  2. the employee is not at work for a full day, or longer, because of sickness, or disability, including sickness, or disability-covered by workers' compensation benefits, and the employee's paid sick leave, or workers' compensation benefits have been exhausted;
  3. the deduction is a penalty imposed for a violation of a significant safety rule relating to prevention of serious danger in the workplace to other persons, including other employees; or
  4. in accordance with the special provisions applicable to executive, professional, or administrative employees of public agencies set forth in 29 C.F.R., Section 541.5d, the employee is not at work for less than one day for personal reasons, or because of illness or injury, and accrued leave is not used by the employee because: (a) permission to use accrued leave was not sought, or was denied; (b) accrued leave has been exhausted; or (c) the employee chooses to use leave without pay.

In accordance with Section 541.5d, a deduction from the pay of an executive, professional, or administrative employee for an absence due to a furlough related to the budget does not affect the employee's status as an employee paid on a salary basis, except for any workweek in which the furlough occurs and for which the employee's pay is accordingly reduced. 

If a deduction is made from an employee's salary in violation of the Department of Labor regulations, the employee is entitled to reimbursement of the amount that should not have been deducted. Employees covered by this section may not be paid for any unused compensatory time.

Gov't Code 659.016

COMP TIME AT HOME

Except under circumstances specified in the General Appropriations Act, employees of the School may not accumulate compensatory time for hours worked during any calendar week at a location other than the employee’s regular or temporarily assigned place of employment.  However, for compensatory time purposes, an employee may accumulate compensatory time for hours worked during any calendar week at the employee’s personal residence if the employee obtains advance approval from the Superintendent or designee.

Gov't Code 659.018

USE OF COMP TIME

The School shall accommodate, to the extent practicable, an employee's request to use accrued compensatory time.

Gov't Code 659.023(b)

If an employee of the School who wishes to use accrued compensatory time that is subject to lapsing makes a written request for permission to use the accrued compensatory time to the approve in writing the employee's request; or School not later than the 90th day before the date on which the accrued compensatory time will lapse, the School shall:

  1. approve in writing the employee's request; or
  2. provide the employee with an alternate date on which the employee may use the compensatory time.

Gov't Code 659.022(a)

The employee may request permission to use the accrued compensatory time within 90 days of the date on which it will lapse, and the School will attempt to reasonably accommodate the employee's use of the accrued compensatory leave before it lapses. 

Gov't Code 659.022(b)

NOTIFICATION OF COMP TIME POLICY

The School shall notify its employees annually of the state's policy on compensatory time.

Gov't Code 659.023(a)

NATIONAL GUARD EMERGENCY

A School employee, who is called to state active duty as a member of the state military forces by the governor because of an emergency, is entitled to receive paid emergency leave without loss of military leave (see MILITARY LEAVE FOR AUTHORIZED TRAINING, below) or annual leave.

Gov't Code 431.0825

MILITARY LEAVE DURING NATIONAL EMERGENCY

An employee called to active duty during a national emergency to serve in a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States under Title 10 or 32, United States Code, is entitled to an unpaid leave of absence. The employee continues to accrue state service credit for purposes of longevity pay while on such military duty, but does not accrue vacation, or sick leave, during an unpaid leave of absence. The employee may retain any accrued vacation, or sick leave, and is entitled to be credited with those balances on return to School employment from such military duty. Leave earned while in a state-paid status is credited to the employee's balance when the employee returns to active state employment.

The employee may use any accrued vacation leave, earned compensatory leave, or overtime leave under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.), as amended, in whole or in part, to maintain benefits for the employee or the employee's dependents while the employee is on military duty described by this section. 

Before a School employee leaves for military service, the School shall review with the employee any issues relating to maintaining state health insurance coverage during the employee's military duty, including what the employee needs to do to maintain state health insurance coverage, how health insurance coverage is affected by paid or unpaid leave, and how to pay any premium required for the insurance coverage.

A state employee activated for military service may continue to accrue service credit with the Employees Retirement System of Texas by receiving at least one hour of state pay during each month of active military service. The employee may use any combination of paid leave, including state compensatory leave, overtime leave under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.), as amended, annual leave, military leave, or approved agency differential pay, to qualify for the state pay.

Gov't Code 661.904

MILITARY LEAVE FOR AUTHORIZED TRAINING

An employee who is a member of the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces or a member of a state or federally authorized Urban Search and Rescue Team is entitled to a paid leave of absence from the person's duties on a day on which the person is engaged in authorized training or duty ordered or authorized by proper authority for not more than fifteen workdays in a federal fiscal year. During a leave of absence, the person may not be subjected to loss of time, efficiency rating, or vacation time. 

Gov't Code 431.005

VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER LEAVE

A State employee who is a volunteer firefighter or an emergency medical services volunteer is entitled to a leave of absence without deduction in salary to attend fire or medical emergency service training conducted by a state agency, or institution of higher education. Leave without a deduction in salary under this subsection may not exceed five (5) working days in a fiscal year. The Superintendent may grant leave without a deduction in salary to a volunteer firefighter or emergency medical services volunteer for the purpose of allowing the firefighter or emergency medical services volunteer to respond to emergency fire or medical situations.

Gov't Code 661.905

RED CROSS LEAVE

Any TSBVI employee, who is a certified disaster service volunteer of the American Red Cross, or who is in training to become such a volunteer, with the authorization of the employee's supervisor, may be granted a leave not to exceed ten days each year to participate in specialized disaster relief services for the American Red Cross, upon the request of the American Red Cross and with approval of the Governor's office, without loss of pay, vacation time, sick leave or earned overtime, and/or compensatory time.

Gov't Code 661.907

AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR LEAVE

A TSBVI employee who holds an amateur radio station license issued by the   Federal Communications Commission may be granted leave not to exceed 10 days each fiscal year to participate in specialized   disaster relief services without a deduction in salary or loss of   vacation time, sick leave, earned overtime credit, or state compensatory time if the leave is taken with the authorization of the employee's supervisor; and with the approval of the governor.   The number of TSBVI employees eligible for leave under this section is subject to a limit on the number of eligible employees statewide. The establishment and maintenance of the list of eligible employees shall be coordinated by the Division of Emergency in Governor’s Office   

 Gov’t Code 661.919                                                                                                    

BLOOD AND BONE MARROW LEAVE

Any TSBVI employee is entitled to a leave of absence without a deduction in salary for the time necessary to permit the employee to serve as a bone marrow or organ donor. The leave of absence provided by this section may not exceed five working days in a fiscal year to serve as a bone marrow donor; or 30 working days in a fiscal year to serve as an organ donor.

Gov’t Code 661.91

TSBVI shall allow each employee sufficient time off, without a deduction in salary or accrued leave, to donate blood. An employee may not receive time off under this section unless the employee obtains approval from the employee's supervisor before taking time off. On returning to work after taking time off under this section, an employee shall provide the employee's supervisor with proof that the employee donated blood during the time off. If an employee fails to provide proof that the employee donated blood during the time off, the School shall deduct the period for which the employee was granted time off from the employee's salary or accrued leave, whichever the employee chooses. An employee may receive time off for donating blood not more than four times in a fiscal year.

Gov’t Code 661.917

FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE(FMLA)

Employees who have been employed for 12 months by the state, and who have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of leave, are hereby entitled to leave pursuant to the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): 

  1. for the birth of a son, or daughter, and to care for the newborn child;
  2. for the placement with the employee of a son, or a daughter, for adoption or foster care;
  3. to care for the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious medical condition; and
  4. because of a serious medical condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee's job.

The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of job protected leave in the applicable 12-month period for any ‘qualifying exigency” arising out of the active duty or call to active duty status of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent.

In addition, the FMLA also allows eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of job-protected leave in a single 12-month period for any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the active duty or call to active duty status of a spouse, son, daughter or parent.

The employee must first use all available, and applicable paid vacation and sick leave while taking such leave, except that an employee who is receiving temporary disability benefit payments, or workers' compensation benefits is not required to first use applicable paid vacation, or sick leave, while receiving these benefits.

SPOUSES EMPLOYED BY THE SAME EMPLOYER (FMLA)

Married spouses are limited to a combined total of 12 weeks of FMLA for the following reasons:

  1. Birth of a child and care of a child after birth.
  2. Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care and to care for a newly placed child.
  3. To care for a parent who has a serious health condition (for 26 weeks if the leave is granted to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness).

See Gov't Code 661.912 and 29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq. See 29, CFR, 825.100 (a); and Revised Final Regulations Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, U.S. Department of Labor’s Web site at http://www./dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28.pdf

STATE PARENTAL LEAVE

A School employee who has been employed for fewer than twelve months by the state, or who worked fewer than 1,200 hours during the twelve-month period preceding the beginning of leave under this subsection, is eligible to take a parental leave of absence not to exceed 12 weeks. The employee must first use all available and applicable vacation and sick leave prior to taking leave pursuant to this subsection, and the remainder of the leave is unpaid. The leave authorized by this section is limited to, and begins on the date of, the birth of a natural child, or adoption, or foster care placement with the employee of a child under three years of age.

Gov't Code 661.913

FOSTER PARENT LEAVE

A School employee, who is a foster parent to a child under the conservatorship of the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, is entitled to a leave of absence without deduction in salary for the purpose of attending meetings held by the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services regarding the child under the foster care of the employee, or an Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) meeting held by a school district regarding the child under the foster care of the employee. 

Gov't Code 661.906

Leave for Sick Foster Child

An employer commits an unlawful employment practice under Labor Code, Chapter 21 if:

  1. The employer administers a leave policy under which an employee is entitled to personal leave to care for or otherwise assist the employee's sick child; and
  2. The leave policy does not treat in the same manner as an employee's biological or adopted minor child any foster child of the employee who:
    1. Resides in the same household as the employee; and
    2. Is under the conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Labor Code 21.0595

ASSISTANCE DOG TRAINING

A School employee who is a person with a disability, as defined by Section 121.002, Human Resources Code, is entitled to a leave of absence, without deduction in salary, for the purpose of attending a training program to acquaint the employee with an assistance dog to be used by the employee. The leave of absence provided by this subsection may not exceed 10 working days in a fiscal year.

Gov't Code 661.910

PERFORMANCE LEAVE

In addition to employee leave otherwise authorized by this policy, the Superintendent may grant administrative leave, without deduction in salary, to an employee as a reward for outstanding performance as documented by employee performance appraisals. The total amount of administrative leave an employee may be granted, under this section, may not exceed 32 hours during any fiscal year. 

Gov't Code 661.911

RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES

TSBVI shall reasonably accommodate an employee’s request to be absent from duty in order to participate in religious observances and practices, so long as it does not cause undue hardship on the conduct of School business.  Such absences shall be without pay unless applicable paid leave is available.  42 U.S.C. 2000(e)(j), 2000-e-2(a); Ansonia Bd. Of Education v. Philbrook, 479 U.S. 60, (1986); Pinsker v. Joint Dist. No. 28J of Adams and Arapahoe Counties, 735 F.2d 388 (10th Cir. 1984)

JURY DUTY

Jury duty is a responsibility of citizenship, and time so spent is regarded as being present on-the-job. No deduction shall be made from the salary, or wages, of an employee who is called for jury service; including a deduction for any fee, or compensation the employee receives for the jury service. 

TSBVI may not discharge, discipline, reduce the salary of, or otherwise penalize or discriminate against an employee because of the employee’s compliance with a summons to appear as a juror. For each regularly scheduled workday on which a nonsalaried employee serves in any phase of jury service, TSBVI shall pay the employee the employee’s normal daily compensation. An employee’s accumulated personal leave may not be reduced because of the employee’s service in compliance with a summons to appear as a juror. Education Code 22.006 

Gov't Code 659.005(a)

SUBPOENAS

On occasion, personnel are subpoenaed to testify in a court of law, or before a Grand Jury, as a representative of, or on behalf of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In such instances, time so spent is regarded as being present on-the-job. If an employee is subpoenaed in an unofficial, or personal capacity, regular leave must be taken. 

A school employee who appears as a witness in an official capacity in a judicial proceeding, or legislative hearing, may not accept, or receive, a witness fee for the appearance. An employee who appears as a witness, in a capacity other than a School or state employee in a judicial proceeding, or legislative hearing to testify from personal knowledge concerning matters related to the proceeding, or hearing, is entitled to receive any customary witness fees for the appearance. An employee who appears as an expert witness in a judicial proceeding, or legislative hearing, may accept compensation for the appearance only if the person is not also compensated by the State for the person's time in making the appearance, and may accept reimbursement for travel expenses only if the expenses are not reimbursed by the State. For purposes of this section, paid leave is not considered time compensated by the State. A State officer, or employee, may receive reimbursement for travel and a per diem, or reimbursement for expenses connected to an appearance in an official capacity as a witness in a judicial proceeding, or legislative hearing only from the state, or the judicial body, but not from both the state and the judicial body.

Texas Gov't Code 659.005(b)-(e) See also Labor Code 52.051(a)  [TSBVI may not discharge, discipline, or penalize in any manner an employee who complies with a valid subpoena to appear in a civil, legislative or administrative proceeding.]                                                                                      

LEAVE WITHOUT PAY

General Provisions

The Superintendent may grant employees leave without pay, including a leave of absence without pay contingent on the following conditions: 

  1. The duration of the leave may not exceed 12 months.
  2. Except for disciplinary suspensions, active military duty, and leave covered by workers' compensation benefits, all accumulated paid leave entitlements must be used before going on leave without pay status. Sick leave must first be used only if the employee is taking leave for a reason for which the employee is eligible to take sick leave under this policy.
  3. Subject to fiscal constraints, approval of the leave constitutes a guarantee of employment at the conclusion of the specified leave period.
  4. The Superintendent may grant exceptions to the limitations of this section if the employee is taking the leave for a reason such as to work for another state governmental entity under an interagency agreement or educational purposes.
  5. Except for an employee who returns to state employment from military leave without pay under this policy, a full calendar month during which an employee is on leave without pay is not counted in computing total state service for purposes related to longevity pay or to the rate of accrual of vacation leave; or continuous state service for purposes related to merit salary provisions or vacation leave.
  6. An employee does not accrue vacation or sick leave for a full calendar month during which the employee is on leave without pay for that entire calendar month.
  7. A full or partial calendar month during which an employee is on leave without pay does not constitute a break in continuity of employment.

Gov't Code 661.909

Absence Control

Uniform enforcement of a reasonable absence-control rule is not retaliatory discharge. For example, a school that terminates an employee for violating a reasonable absence-control provision cannot be liable for retaliatory discharge as long as the rule is uniformly enforced. 

Howell v. Standard Motor Prods., Inc., 2001 U.S. Dist LEXIS 12332 (N. D. Tex. 2001) (Family and Medical Leave Act case); Specialty Retailers v. DeMoranville, 933 S.W.2d 490 (Tex. 1996) (age discrimination case); Gonzalez v. El Paso Natural Gas Co., 40 F.E.P. Cases (BNA) 353 (Tex. App.-El Paso 1986, no pet.) (sex discrimination case)

Employees Returning from Medical Leave

If an employee has exhausted all forms of applicable leave including but not limited to FMLA, all types of sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory time, and overtime, and the employee's medical condition prohibits the employee from returning to work at full duty, the Superintendent shall determine whether there is a business necessity to fill the employee's position and, if so, by what date the position must be filled to serve the School's best interests. If the employee is unable to return to full duty by that date, the employee's employment shall be terminated. The Superintendent shall develop procedures to implement the provisions of this paragraph that are consistent with the general provisions immediately above.  Some employees may have protected status even after the expiration of all other leave.  [See DAA]

DISCIPLINARY USE OF LEAVE WITHOUT PAY

Any employee who violates school policy regarding use of leave, or otherwise fails to secure authorized approval for leave taken, may be required to take leave without pay.

TIME AND ATTENDANCE RECORDS

The Superintendent shall require for each employee, time and attendance records, a record of the accrual and taking of vacation and sick leave; a record of the reasons an employee takes leave, if other law requires the employee to inform the School of the reason; and a record that shows whether any leave taken is accounted for as sick leave, vacation leave, other paid leave, leave without pay, or other absence.

Gov't Code 661.908

Adopted:          11/4/79
Amended:        3/13/81, 6/29/81, 11/13/81, 5/14/82, 9/10/81, 1/14/83, 11/11/83, 10/25/85, 5/30/86, 11/12/87, 9/15/88, 3/23/89, 9/22/89, 9/27/91, 3/25/94, 9/29/95, 9/26/97, 9/25/98, 5/20/99, 8/9/99, 11/19/99, 1/31/03, 9/12/03, 9/24/04, 11/16/07, 9/26/08, 4/6/18
Reviewed:        5/24/96